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Seeing An Ophthalmologist Can Reveal Far More About Your Overall Health Than You Think

An eye exam with an ophthalmologist is about a lot more than just your eyes. Did you know that your eyes can give your eye doctor a look at your overall health? Here are a few things your ophthalmologist can tell you about your health just by looking into your eyes.

Seeing the Signs in Your Eyes

Eye problems, and eye diseases can stem from health issues you're not yet aware of. It's one of the reasons you need to have your eyes checked at least every couple of years. Your eye doctor can check for developing eye problems, and mitigate issues before they become larger problems. However, other things can become apparent to your ophthalmologist as well.

Signs of High Blood Pressure

Your eye doctor can spot signs of high blood pressure and hypertension when he or she checks the blood vessels of your retina for damage. A condition known as retinal vein occlusion occurs when those blood vessels become blocked. This is often a sign of hypertension. In addition, there are various disorders of the eye that point to high blood pressure.

Signs of Diabetes

Your eyes can show early signs of diabetes. High blood sugar causes damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. It's a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Your ophthalmologist will check for the following issues:

  • Changes to your blood vessels
  • If your blood vessels are leaking
  • Diabetic macular edema (DME)
  • Nerve tissue damage

These are all signs of diabetic retinopathy. Your ophthalmologist can very well be the first person to find the evidence of diabetes.

Signs of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis typically leads to vision issues. A condition known as optic neuritis occurs when the optic nerve becomes inflamed. The condition can include

  • blurry vision,
  • grayed vision,
  • and temporary blindness in the affected eye.

This condition sometimes represents the first sign that a person has MS. Your ophthalmologist can spot the condition first, and you can start the process of treating it.

Signs of Other Disorders

There's more that your ophthalmologist can see. For example, your eye doctor can spot signs of cancer or neurological diseases when you go in for your eye exam.

You Will Need to Verify Your Condition

Keep in mind there are various ocular conditions that mirror the symptoms associated with other diseases. Your ophthalmologist may spot signs, and let you know what they can mean. But you will still need to see your physician to verify the findings.